The loss of a loved one is a universal event that unfortunately everyone goes through. The search for the self is also a common experience; it unites us all no matter how different we really are. Even taking a risk is something that we have all done.
You may be wondering, what do these things have to do with one another? Well, the answer lies in Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. If you’re looking to be inspired by how one woman copes with the loss of her mother by taking an incredibly life-changing risk and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), alone, then Wild is the book for you.
Cheryl Strayed shares her journey that begins when she is only 22-years-old. She decides to take a trip all by herself to figure out her life. While it may sound a bit cliché, Strayed immediately captivates you with her vulnerability and honesty. Stained by the sudden death of her mother who was diagnosed with lung cancer only a month before she actually passed, Strayed’s life shifts irreversibly overnight. Her mom is gone. Her family is falling apart. Her marriage is deteriorating due to various adulterous moments. Her life was beginning to spiral downward and after several one night stands and some dangerous experimentation with heroine, Strayed realizes what a mess her life has become.
Then, along the same vain as Eat Pray Love, Strayed is inspired by a book she comes across and decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail—an 1100 mile walk up and down the West Coast…alone. Alone in the mountains with a backpack that weighs half of what she does, Strayed encounters intense moments with animals, remarkable people and her compelling mind. As the days and weeks pass, Strayed is faced with countless obstacles—treacherous weather and wounds, but the one she has the most difficulty with is coping with the loss of her mother.
Wild is an upstanding and honest depiction of Strayed’s journey hiking the PCT, discovering herself and coming to terms with mother’s death. Her writing is brutally real, so poetic at times that you feel yourself strained and relieved, just as Strayed does.
If you are looking for a book that is approved by Oprah, truly speaks from the heart and emphasizes that you can truly get through anything in life—whether it’s a death, a break-up or a cross-country hike, then read Wild, and be prepared to be heartbroken, anxious, but most of all, inspired.